Thursday, January 10, 2008

If you had told me ten years ago....

If you had told me ten years ago that tonight, January 2008, I'd be searching the cable channels for something interesting to watch and would settle upon a celebrity boxing match, with Michael Buffer as ring announcer and Boom Boom Mancini as color commentator, and with Tonya Harding and Paula Jones in the ring with the gloves on, throwing lefts and rights at each other--

Well, I'd have laughed in your face at the very least. :-)

And yet, it is at this moment that I am watching precisely that.

It is entertainment in which everyone, from the networks to the participants to the fringe participants to the ticketed audience members to those of us watching on TV, is utterly degraded.

As I write that line at the beginning of the third round, I see that Paula Jones, completely bewildered at how much it hurts to be punched, is standing in her own corner shaking her head, saying "no mas". The ref has his hands in the air, back and forth, it's all over....

...and Tonya Harding moves in while Jones is not looking, steps around the ref, and blasts Jones with another overhand right.

In the face of all these circumstances, Tonya Harding still finds a way to look classless.


Paula Jones doubtless pines for the days when she gave the blows instead of taking them.

But Tonya takes the cake for postmodern American degradation.

Or I do, for watching. Every day I live in this country, I understand a little bit more about the fall of Rome.

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